In a first, SC recommends Elevation of Openly Gay Lawyer as Judge of Delhi HC

Story Highlights
  • Saurabh Kirpal become’s India’s first gay judge.
  • Recommendation was placed by CJI NV Ramana.
  • Kirpal practicing since two decades specialises in civil, commercial and constitutional law.

New Delhi: Indian community achieved a big milestone on Tuesday, after the Supreme Court Collegium led by CJI NV Ramana recommended the elevation of senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal as judge of the Delhi High Court. However, no details of the commencement of the courtship have yet been announced.

Kapil has had his own twists to reach the post as a judge due to his stance that he was a gay. Kirpal’s journey for judgeship began in 2017 after chief justice of the Delhi High Court, Justice Gita Mittal proposed his name for elevation. Following which the SC collegium also recommended an elevation. However, in January 2019 his elevation was deferred citing his sexual orientation.

Kirpal, a prodigy of the 31st Justice BN Kirpal got lucky this year in March, after 31 judges favoured his recognition as a senior advocate. Kirpal stood as the counsel for Navtej Johar and Ritu Dalmia, two key petitioners in the removal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalised homosexuality.

Kirpal is a graduate in B.Sc (Hons) Physics from St Stephens, Delhi University and later pursued law at the University of Oxford. With masters from the University of Cambridge, Kirpal specialises in civil, commercial and constitutional categories of law. He then returned to India after a brief stint at the United Nations in Geneva.

Practicing since 2 decades now, Kirpal is known for his anthology titled “Sex and the Supreme Court: How the Law is Upholding the Dignity of the Indian Citizen” and also a board member of the Naz Foundation Trust, a Delhi-based NGO that has been at the forefront battling Section 377.

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